12 Best Polyurethane for Table Top-Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Best Polyurethane for Table Top

It is all-important to protect your wood table top from things such as drying and chipping. So how do you protect your wood from drying and developing chips? If you can get the best polyurethane for table top, then you will give your wooden table what it requires the most, protection.

Polyurethane is the best if, especially, you need a more natural look other than staining the surface. It can protect both the functionality and the appearance of the wood for several years.

Here are some of the best polyurethane for table tops that you can find in the market today:

      1.General Finishes QTHS High-Performance Water Based Topcoat

This product, General Finishes Water-Based Urethane Topcoat, is the first on our list of the best polyurethane for table top. It has some fantastic features like leveling out and drying to a low-sheen finish. It takes relatively long to cure bust as soon as that happens, we are talking of a rock hard finish. 

This product comes with an easy application as you can use a foam brush, bristle, and rollers for application.

Note: This product is not great if you are working on white painted surfaces as it leaves a yellowish tint on the surface.

The Summary of Top Features

  • Dries to the hardest and most durable polyurethane top coat today
  • It comes with a UV stabilizer that protects it from fading due to sunlight 
  • This formula cures into a hard finish making it suitable for floors as well
  • It takes just about 1-2 hours to dry
  • Great for interior use only


  • It is water-based
  • Clear finish
  • It’s durable
  • A versatile product
  • Has UV stabilizer


  • It’s not suitable for white colored surfaces
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      2.Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish Satin

This polyurethane formula improves the look of your wooden table top thanks to the presence of a satin finish with natural coloring in its compounds. It works wonders when it comes to enhancing the original beauty of your furniture, wood doors as well as floors by exposing the grain.

Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish Satin is an oxygen-crosslinking polyurethane with a waterborne formula that improves its ease of usage and durability.

Another outstanding property of this polyurethane is that it does not have a limited spot life making it suitable for prolonged storage. Above all, it has an exceptional flow, which makes it easy to use on a wide range of woods.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It is an oxygen-crosslinking polyurethane (OCP) waterborne formula.
  • You can find it in semi-gloss or gloss.
  • It comes with a natural wood color that enhances the beauty of the wood.
  • The formula has no limited pot life and no wasted finish.
  • It has exceptional flow and self- leveling.


  • It is a satin finish
  • Help improve wood colors
  • Waterbourne formula
  • Has a good flow
  • No limited pot life


  • It’s a bit challenging to apply without brush strokes
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      3.Minwax 33050000 Fast-Drying Polyurethane Aerosol, 11.5 ounces, Gloss

Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane Aerosol is among the best polyurethane for table top thanks to its strong ability to protect wood furnishings. Without a doubt, this product cures into one of the hardest protective coatings you can ask for in wood. 

It has a convenient package which increases its versatility. The formula is fantastic because you can use it on both finished and unfinished surfaces.

It has a faster drying time, and once it cures, it gives one of the most lasting beauties for your different types of wood. It is durable and, at the same time, enhances the beauty of the wood. 

The Summary of Top Features

  • Has one of the hardest of protective coatings
  • Dries fast and offers a lasting beauty on both finished and Unfinished surfaces of wood
  • Easy to apply, easy-care


  • It’s easy to apply
  • Cures into a hard protective coating
  • A versatile product
  • Fast drying
  • Gloss finish


  • Some users complained of dark spots after application
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      4.Rust-Oleum 200241H Varathane Ultimate Polyurethane

This product, Rust-Oleum Water-Based Polyurethane Finish, is a class of its own and very different from other finishes you will find in the market today.

It contains a strong odor, which makes it perfect for usage in interior wood surfaces. This product dries so fast, making it suitable for projects with a short timeline allowing you to apply multiple coats. 

The layers almost “melts’ into the other with no traces of lines, the tiny bubbles that form in the process disappear during drying. 

This product does not leave any tint on light-colored wood.

The Summary of Top Features

  • Offers protection to indoor wood surfaces like tabletop, windows, cabinets, and trim
  • It is a water-based formula that dries fast and has easy clean up with soap and water
  • The formula takes 30 minutes to dries to the touch.
  • It has coverage of up to 125 sq. ft., recoat after 2 hours
  • It is a durable formula that provides outstanding stain and scratch resistance
  • Dries to a satin finish offers a classic and natural look


  • Has an elegant finish
  • Cures into a clear topcoat
  • Water-based
  • Low odor
  • Scratch-resistant


  • Requires multiple layers
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      5. Minwax 60910000 Wipe-On Poly Finish Clear

It’s arguably among the best polyurethane for table top with the easiest application methods. Its mode of application, the wipe-on, is the easiest to adopt. This formula leaves your table top with a hand-rubbed finish as well as protection that you can only find from oil-based polyurethane. With this product, your wooden structures are safe from stains. 

As stated before, it is easy to apply this formula; besides, it dries faster curing into a smooth finish—no bubbles or brush streak form following painting.

A few more coats might be necessary to achieve the best finish; otherwise, this product is worth your time as well as money.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It’s easy to apply as it leaves no drips or brush marks
  • This formula protects the wood against water, chemical spillage, food stains and wear
  • It gives a hand-rubbed look
  • A product of a high-quality oil-based polyurethane
  • Available in satin as well as gloss


  • It’s effortless to apply
  • Dries faster
  • No bubbles or brush streaks


  • It can be dull after curing
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      6.Rust-Oleum 207008 Marine Spar Varnish

Let’s talk about durability; this product is the ultimate answer to your question on longevity. It protects your wood table top from every possible strain it can experience. 

It dries into a crystal-clear finish that brings the best of the natural grain in your wood, enhancing its natural beauty in the process. The formula takes just 2 hours to dry, making it one of the fastest drying polyurethanes in the market today. A can of this product would serve an area of 150 square feet.

It has the feature to resist UltraViolet rays, salt, as well as mildew; hence it’s a perfect fit for outdoor usage. The formula is oil-based, it can contract and expand depending on the prevailing weather conditions making it an all-season protective coat.

The Summary of Top Features

  • Great for outdoor usage due to its vast protective components
  • It can expand and contracts with the changing weather conditions
  • Takes 2 hours to dry to touch
  • Has coverage of up to 150 sq ft
  • Durable with resistance to UV, salt, and mildew
  • Crystal-clear varnish


  • Crystal clear finish
  • Resists UV
  • Suitable for outdoor use
  • Protects against salt and mildew


  • Some customers complained of it taking longer to dry
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      7.Minwax 255554444 Minwax Polycrylic Water Based

If you need the best polyurethane for table top to help improve the look of your kitchen table and other wooden structures the this is it. It has a gloss finish, which adds value to different surfaces. Besides, its protection lasts longer. That’s why we have it on the list of our best products in the market.

This formula is water-based, characterized by ease of clean up. It has a low odor making it appropriate for indoor usage. With this formula, you have a high-quality polyurethane that does not turn yellow and remains clear the entire time. 

The Summary of Top Features

  • Available in 1/2 Pint
  • Dries to clear Gloss
  • Easy water clean-up
  • It has Low odor, non-yellowing
  • Fast drying time


  • Gives your wood a gloss finish
  • Adds value
  • It’s a versatile product
  • Non-yellowing formula
  • Low odor


  • A user reported cracking
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      8.ZAR 33912 Oil Based Polyurethane Wood Finish

It’s best for interior usage and works well with different types of wood surfaces within your house, making it the best polyurethane for table tops. The product cures into a bright finish that does not affect the natural beauty of the wood grain. This formula has self-leveling features which save you the time of having to go back and level all the areas. Besides, it works so well on wood flooring too.

It comes with tough resistance to abrasion, which would protect areas of high traffic like the floor. Besides, it has excellent durability and can keep your wooden structures looking fresh for several years.

It has a low odor and dries fast

The Summary of Top Features

  • For interior use only
  • Tough abrasion-resistant finish
  • Self-leveling formula
  • Does a great job on tables tops and floors


  • Self-leveling formula
  • Smooth and clear
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Ideal for flooring


  • Few complaints about chipping and peeling
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      9.RUST-OLEUM FBA 230031 Varathane Floor Finish

One feature of this polyurethane that makes it one of the best polyurethane for table top is its attractive gloss finish. This finish does so much in improving the beauty of your wood by exposing its natural beauty.

It’s water-based formula making it versatile and functional on hardwood floors as well. It can resist stains as well as chemical spillages hence maintaining the condition of your wood for a long time.

This polyurethane also abrasion-resistant and will protect your table top against scuffs. Its water-based formula makes it easy to clean.

The Summary of Top Features

  • Has an elegant design and finish
  • It is a water-based finish that is perfect for hardwood
  • The formula comes with superior durability, abrasion resistance, and scuff resistance
  • It can resist stains and household chemicals if used on the floor
  • Has a bright crystal finish


  • Cures into a gloss finish
  • A scuff-resistant formula
  • It’s a water-based formula
  • Dries to a durable topcoat


  • A bit of odor
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      10.Rust-Oleum 302736 Triple Thick Polyurethane

If you are looking for a thick consistency in polyurethane, then this is the product. It gives your wooded structures the very best levels of protection you can imagine. 

Despite its thick consistency, this product takes only 2 hours to dry. It can cover about 50 square feet of an area per can. 

This formula is suitable for all indoor wood, such as table tops, flooring, doors, and many others. It’s quick to apply thanks to its one-coat coverage. Clean up is easy because the product is water-based and can resist both scratch and stains.

The Summary of Top Features

  • Great for use on all interior wood surfaces 
  • It’s a one-coat coverage and water-based formula that provides excellent scratch and stain resistance
  • Takes 2 hours to dry to touch and covers up to 50 sq ft
  • Has durability for long-lasting protection
  • Cures into a matte finish that provides a soft, subtle finish for surfaces


  • Has a thick consistency
  • Quick-drying time
  • One-coat coverage works
  • Resists scratch and stain
  • It’s ideal for interior use


  • Yellowing might occur
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11. Minwax 63010444 Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Finish

If you need versatility in polyurethane, then you should think of this Minwax finish. It gives you incredible results over the woodwork, hardwood floors, furniture, kitchen cabinets, and doors, etc. Other than versatility, this formula guarantees you durability over the surfaces in which you shall apply it over.

You get the flexibility to choose from these three versions satin, gloss, and semi-gloss. Additionally, it is available in different modalities, like cans and or aerosol.

Whichever you choose, can or aerosol, you will be happy with what you get in this formula. Rest assured of ease of application, faster drying time, and a lot more from this formula.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The formula provides long-lasting beauty and protection to your interior woodworking projects
  • It’s one of the most durable coatings for wood protection in the market
  • You can use it on woodworking, furniture, doors, cabinets plus hardwood floors
  • This formula is excellent for both finished and Unfinished wood
  • It comes with a faster drying time 


  • You get so much versatility with this formula
  • It dries faster
  • You can apply it spraying
  • Available in many shades


  • It does yellow after some time
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12. Waterlox TB 6044 Original Satin Finish, Quart

You will undoubtedly fall in love with this formula, and that’s mainly because virtually all the resin used in the creation of this formula comes from natural and renewable resources. 

With the proper preparation of the surface plus proper application, this formula will penetrate deep into the grains of the wood to create a beautiful and protective coat. You do not have to worry about issues such as spills, moisture, or shoe marks once you use this formula to finish off your wooden surface.

One thing that you must ensure when using this formula is that the room has proper ventilation. And that’s because the finish produces a strong smell that not everyone would be comfortable to work around over an extended duration.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The formula penetrates surfaces for a better and protective finish
  • It prevents potential marks from spills, moisture, and more
  • About 90% of the resin used for the formula originates from natural resources
  • It gives you a satin sheen 


  • It’s a durable formula
  • 90% natural
  • It can withstand scratches


  • It has a bad smell
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The Best Polyurethane for Table Top Buyer’s Guide

It’s very costly to acquire new wood to make new tables, floors, and even cabinets, which is why you should, by all means, maintain the ones you already have.

If you are looking to have a beautiful appearance on your wooden structures and offer them protection at the same time, then polyurethane is the way to go. As you can tell from our product reviews of the best polyurethane for table top, there are several different types of polyurethanes in the market. 

Before settling for polyurethane for your projects, here are some of the essential factors that you must consider:

The Type of Polyurethane

There are two main types of polyurethane:

Water-Based Polyurethane

Most woodworkers prefer water-based polyurethanes; they are bright and glossy, which help enhance the natural beauty of the wood.

This product helps to hydrate the wood hence stopping it from drying. Hydration helps to improve further the look as well as the quality of the wood.

Oil-Based Polyurethane

Oil-based polyurethane is expensive compared to its water-based counterparts. They are a lot more durable of the two types and are best for exterior wooden projects. 

Oil-based polyurethanes can expand and contract depending on the prevailing weather conditions hence offering protection to wood through all the weather conditions.

Watch the video below on how to apply polyurethane without bubbles:

What to Consider In Polyurethane 

Consider the following when buying polyurethane for different uses in your home-both exterior and interior:

The appearance of the finish

There are different appearances of polyurethane from matte/clear, gloss, and satin. The type of finish you choose determines how beautiful your wooden structures would look like; that’s why you must ensure that you get the right one. Polyurethane will determine how your wood furnishings and surfaces will look after its application, so it is something you should consider carefully.

The appearance will differ depending on the surfaces where you use them. Wood table tops, for example, would look fantastic in a glossy finish.

Curing Duration

The time that polyurethane takes to cure is vital when you are shopping for your products. If you are working on a short timeline, for example, you must settle for the polyurethane products that would dry faster. 

You should not worry about the fast drying polyurethanes as there are several you can choose from in the market today. All that is important is ensuring that you pick the right one.


The durability of polyurethane is critical when it comes to choosing the best polyurethane for table top. Much as all polyurethane products last longer, some are more durable than their counterparts. 

Settling for polyurethane that lasts longer will save you a great deal, from time to all the necessary maintenance practices. You must consider features like resistance to scratches and abrasion in the process.

How Easy Is It to Use The Product

Polyurethane plays an important role when it comes to decorating and even protecting your wooden projects. However, when picking your product, ensure that it is easy to apply. It will minimize the risks of messing in the process.  

A good number of the polyurethane products that we have reviewed only calls for painting. Others would give the best results with spray guns and other tools. It’s, therefore, crucial that you have the product that would not complicate the application process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Apply Water-based Polyurethane over Oil-based?

Yes! You can apply water-based polyurethane over oil-based. All you need to ensure is that the conditions are suitable conditions for this to happen effectively. Ensure that you get rid of dirt, grease, and wax from the surface through scrubbing the surface using a wood cleaner or de-glosser. You can also settle for mineral spirits to do the cleaning job.

Can You Paint Over Polyurethane?

Yes! You can paint over polyurethane with proper preparations, all you need to do it make the condition of the painting surface favorable for your painting work. 

Polyurethane is a strong, durable, and a glossy compound. It can sometimes be vulnerable to chips. If you want to paint a piece of furniture with a polyurethane finish, then remove all the vanish and prepare the surface properly for the best result possible. 


Polyurethane does an excellent job when it comes to offering protection as well as beauty to your wooden projects. In our list of the best polyurethane for table top, we have reviewed for you some of the very best poly products you can find in the market today. We believe that any product on our list will give you value for your money. Enjoy your shopping!

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Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.

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